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By Phil Westren
Many will be aware that I have for years compiled a weekly Pirates ‘Log’, which is useful in a variety of ways and covers a wide range of Pirates-associated information. They also often include a popular archive section.
In last week’s ‘Log’ I mentioned my involvement with Madron History Group, where our Chairman is Peter Scrase. A lifelong supporter of the Pirates, Peter kindly sent me the image below, which is of our 1952/53 Mounts Bay youth team.
Mounts Bay Colts 1952/53 – Back l-r: ? ? , John Stirling, Victor Cowan-Dickie, Stan Richards, John Oliver, Ben Perrin; Middle – l-r: ? ? , H. Thomas, Colin Kelynack, Harvey Jose (captain), M. George, Brian Harvey; Front: Mike Jenkin (not the Mike Jenkin who played for Oxford University and Cornwall), ? ? , Rex Sincock, and a beardless Peter Scrase. Can anyone perhaps identify the three unknown names?
The photograph, as is so often the case, once again provides interest, because there are names and personalities to inevitably recall. Third from the left in the back row is Victor Cowan-Dickie – a grandfather to Luke and Tom – and standing right is in Ben Perrin. Peter commented: “I recall a few in the team and feel so privileged to be in a photo with the great Ben Perrin our coach!”
Ben was, of course, a legendary figure, remembered by many as a window cleaner who, wearing a vest throughout the year, carried his bucket and ladder all about Penzance. Addressing budding youth as ‘spunky’ fellows, well into his senior years he was also a doorman (bouncer!) at the Winter Gardens. The first image of him that I have on file is a Penzance RFC photograph taken in 1926, whilst he was one of just a few individuals who also played for the new Penzance & Newlyn RFC after our formation in 1945. Indeed, he captained the side in our second season.
Another legendary player, Alvin Williams, recalled an incident concerning Ben that is worthy to mention. Alvin said: “I recall packing down behind that piece of Cornish granite Ben Perrin, when suddenly the scrum erupted. Ben stood up, he’s been punched I thought, but no, he ran off saying ‘Sorry ref I’ve got to go!’. I thought he’d been caught short and was making for the toilet but then we heard the fire siren wailing. Ben was a part-time fireman, so off he went in his kit and we played one short!’
Note the following examples of photographs in which Ben is pictured:
Penzance RFC 1926 – Ben is pictured standing fourth left. The captain is Ken Simpson of the Simpson Bros family – he also appeared for the Pirates several times in 1945/46.
Penzance RFC 1937/38 – Ben is standing fourth from the right. Pictured standing l-r: P. Renfree, ? ? , Rex Carr (the first Secretary and later a President of the Pirates), ? Moyle, W. Rose, ? Simpson, T. White, ? ? , Bill Monckton, D. Bartle (?), Peter Gartrell (captained the Pirates in our first ever game), Ben Perrin, Frank Blewett, ‘Ginger’ Collins (referee), Jack Jenkin; Front l-r: F. Jelbert, B. Moffat (could be Moffatt), R. Matthews, Ewart Thomas (wearing cap), Cyril Mann (later a Mayor of Penzance), ? Howes, Trevor Nicholls, Louis Tripp, B. Edmunds.
Taken at the St. Clare ground, Penzance, this is a particularly interesting photograph of Newlyn and Penzance players in the same team. Clearly taken circa WW2, can anyone identify the occasion?
Back l-r: Pascoe, Marty Williams, Sam Payne, Nicky Peake (Newlyn’s most renowned player), ? ? , Joe McGunigle, Louis Tripp; Middle l-r: Ewart Thomas, Garfield Kneebone, Dai Bartle (?), ? ? , ? ? , Frank Blewett; Front l-r: R. Rowe, Bill Monckton (later a captain, Chairman and President of the Pirates), Ben Perrin, Lionel Chiffers, Charlie Uren, ? ?
A Pirates XV 1946/47 – Some individuals to name here include Raymond Evans (committee man and father of Dicky) standing second left, Louis Brown fifth left, Steve Jelbert (the shorter player standing in the middle and the man who was renowned in Newlyn for his ice cream (the ice cream still is!), Henry Care sat left (later a President of Penzance & Newlyn RFC), Bill Crotty sat second left, and George North sat second right. Ben Perrin is the captain.
Pirates v London Hospital 31st March 1947 – Standing l-r: P. Mclary, C. Blewett, Henry Care, Banfield Hitchens, Bill Simpson (a member of the Simpson Bros family), John Phillips, Chris May, Rex Carr, John Kendall-Carpenter (would soon play for England), Tommy Mutton, George North, Bill Monckton, Tommy Cotton, Ben Batten; Seated l-r: Jack Jenkin, Geoff Vingoe (grandad to present day ‘Pirate’ John Stevens), Mike Terry (later an England trialist), Ben Perrin (captain), F. Mitchell, John ‘Ginger’ Williams (played later for England), Geoff Mabbott; Front: Trevor Nicholls and Harvey Richards (later a successful captain and Chairman of the Pirates).
And Young Band Members Who Followed WW1 Footsteps of Local Miners
The Cornish Pirates have been sorry to hear that Chris Hodges, a founding member of Falmouth Marine Band, has recently passed away.
By Phil Westren – 11th November 2020